Rumors have begun to percolate around a very specific April 2023 release date for the anxiously awaited Diablo IV with some convincing speculation.
Windows Central and the XBoxERA podcast stoked the flames of discourse around some news, “credible sources” and timelines that suggest we may soon come into some tangible updates regarding a Diablo 4 release date and pre-order. In fact, they’ve even gone as far as to suggest the date will be confirmed and announced at The Game Awards (TGA) 2022 on Dec. 8.
Here’s the disclaimer that much of this is pure speculation and rumor. That said, it’s based on progress and dev cycle patterns that might suggest the timing could line up. Please take rumors lightly. Additionally, leaking information under NDA is not only a breach of agreement, but always causes tremendous difficulty, cost, and other damages to the companies and teams working hard on the games we love. We do not condone leaking information and protect the integrity of all our NDAs and confidentiality agreements.
Windows Central first tabled the idea that a Diablo 4 release date could be coming soon, suggesting the April target in their article posted yesterday. It was preceded and lined up on the XBoxERA podcast with a host of other “credible sources” shared in the Rumour Mill segment of the show.
There are some convincing signals that fuel the rumor that:
⦁ the release date of April 2023 will be announced at TGA 2022
⦁ pre-orders will open shortly after that and will include open beta access
⦁ open beta will begin in Feb. 2023
⦁ Season 1 will be tentatively scheduled for late Q2 or Q3 2023
The current beta cycle began shortly after the family and friends alpha in Sept. This is also where the first 40+ minutes of gameplay was famously leaked. The closed beta began and persisted through October with the Blizzard Diablo IV team stating that closed beta testing will end around Nov. 18 and open beta will begin “at the start of 2023.”
TGA being the last big-ticket event of the year between these suggested dates, setting Diablo 4 up for its already announced 2023 release makes good marketing sense on both sides. If true, it’s common practice to release pre-orders immediately (or shortly) following an announcement like that and tie early access or closed beta to pre-orders as an incentive. I’d say we can count on the latter, whenever it is made available. This would also jive with the official announcement that open beta would begin at the start of 2023.
Blizzard previously announced that they want the first season to be available shortly after launch, followed by four content and gameplay-rich seasonal releases per year. If these timelines play out, we should expect that to be around Q3 2023. Truthfully, if these suspicions are debunked or delayed, it would make their announced timelines difficult to adhere to. Speculators are also taking the polished nature of the leaked gameplay and end-game loops as an indicator that the game could very well be mainly complete and ready for a pre-release life cycle.
What does it mean for gamers:
It could mean that the gateway to hell may open sooner than later, but what it certainly means is that development, play, test, and launch seem to be well on track for 2023. At the very least, I would say delays are unlikely.
As for the validity of the rumors and speculation, I guess we’ll have to wait until TGA 2022 on Dec. 8 to know if that part comes true. Beyond that, gamers can definitely sign up for the closed beta, available until Nov. 18.
Hope to see you back here on Dec. 8 with some (hopefully) good news. In the meantime, please take all rumor and speculation with a HUGE grain of salt.
D3 until then anyone?